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Absa reports mortgage advances growth down to mid-2004 level
RodneyHayter.com - South Africa
Year-on-year growth in mortgage advances by monetary institutions slowed down further to 16,6% in September 2008 from 17,6% in August, based on data released by the South African Reserve Bank, according to Absa.

This the bank says in its comments on the data, was the lowest year-on-year growth recorded in mortgage advances since May 2004 and was well below the peak of almost 31% of October 2006.

On a month-on-month basis mortgage advances growth was at a level of 1,0% in September, the same as in August.

Growth in mortgage advances to the household sector also tapered off further to 20,0% year-on-year in September (21,2% year-on-year in August) after peaking at 29,0% year-on-year in March this year.

Stamp duties on property leases scrapped
Moneywebtax - South Africa
What the 2008 Revenue Laws Amendment Bill tabled last week is proposing...

The ambit of the Stamp Duties Act which was introduced in 1968, has been steadily reduced over the last few years. Stamp duty only remains payable on leases of immovable property for periods longer than five years. Stamp duty that was previously payable on unlisted marketable securities in terms of the Stamp Duties Act, is now payable in terms of the Securities Transfer Tax Act, 2007.

The minister of finance announced in his budget review in February this year that he is considering the outright repeal of the remaining aspects of stamp duty in order to simplify administration and compliance. He did, however, express concern that the repeal of the Stamp Duties Act may lead to the undermining of transfer duty, and that the South African Revenue Service (Sars) was considering whether transfer duty should be legislatively applied to long-term leases.

Accusations rock moves for hi-tech conveyancing
The Australian - Australia
Moves to establish a national electronic conveyancing system have been rocked by accusations that the project may have been corrupted by a conflict of interest within the Victorian public service.

The accusations, made in the Senate estimates committee this week, triggered moves by the federal Government to shore up the integrity of the e-conveyancing project.

The secretary of the Attorney-General's Department, Roger Wilkins, told the committee that government agencies would ensure the process of developing the national e-conveyancing system had integrity.
The Australian

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